Photo of a woman with her baby at work, 1982. (Freda Leinwand/Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute)

Dorothy Bruce Weske: Academia and Motherhood in the Mid-Twentieth Century

In 1934, in her mid-thirties and single, Dorothy Bruce defended her dissertation at Radcliffe College on thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Convocations, a name given to a category of English church councils. In 1937, her work, Convocation of the Clergy: A Study of its Antecedents and its Rise with Special Emphasis upon its Growth and Activities in… Read more →

Two WPA posters from 1937 encouraging people to help prevent syphilis. (C. Y. Bienvenu/WPA War Services LA and Charles Verschuuren/WPA Federal Art Project/US Library of Congress)

Parental Guilt & STIs: A Historical Look

If you’ve been watching television lately, you’ve probably seen Merck’s recent ads for Gardasil, the most widely used vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV). The commercials begin with a young person in their 20s stating they have cervical cancer or have been infected with HPV. From there, we see them get progressively younger through family… Read more →

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Sponsor, Apr-Jun 1964, Sponsor Publications, Inc.
Publisher, v.18: no.14-26 (1964:Apr.-June)

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Fashion for the grave. What are tussie-mussies? Medicine wants your parts. Who keeps women’s secrets? The strange history of microfilm. 350 years of blood transfusions. The birth of the physician assistant. When the color green could kill you. The hidden black female figures of… Read more →

Uterus anatomy lesson for midwives. (New Jersey State Health Department/US National Library of Medicine | Public domain)

Strange Pain, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Womb: A Teacher’s Reflection on Bodies in History

In fall 2015, I taught a first-year writing class called “Womb Trouble.” I don’t know if it was a very good class. I was a first-time adjunct not quite out of grad school, tasked with teaching writing to freshmen barely five years younger than me, and I latched onto the text I knew best: the… Read more →

A photo from the NCI cancer research collection. (National Institutes of Health/US National Library of Medicine | Public domain)

Is Your Doctor Experimenting On You?

My friend’s father is in the hospital, and it’s been rough. His cancer treatment did not go as expected. “He’s suffering so much!” my friend sighed. “And the doctors, they’re just experimenting on him. It’s horrible.” When I heard this, I was confused. Was her father in some sort of experimental treatment? “No. But the… Read more →

Detail from the book cover of Elena Ferrante's Frantumaglia (2016).

Writings Appropriate to Her Sex: Women Authors, Pseudonyms, and the Gendered History of Publishing and Reading

Recently, Italian journalist Claudio Gatti allegedly “outed” the popular Italian novelist Elena Ferrante by publishing in the New York Review of Books proof of her “true” identity. Ferrante’s writing, particularly the Neapolitan novels — a series of four books that chronicle female friendship, violence, poverty, and gender in postwar Italy — have become international bestsellers… Read more →

United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division

Sunday Morning Protest

Instead of our weekly check-up of news, we’re dedicating this space to organizations you can donate your time and money: American Civil Liberties Union Southern Poverty Law Center Showing up for Racial Justice. Planned Parenthood NARAL Equal Justice Initiative Facing History Teaching Tolerance Physicians for Human Rights Zinn Education Project Students4Justice The Center for Media Justice… Read more →